Thursday, December 31, 2009

I am ready

I have decided to give it a go this year. Wish all of us good luck.

I'm Baa-aack!

Howdy Folks!

I have been on an oh-my-word-my-life-is-a-crazy-merry-go-round writing hiatus. There's no indication that the insanity is slowing, much less stopping. Nonetheless, my 2 young adult novels are calling me. Loudly. AND a third story line has been bubbling and brewing...

Must. WRITE!

So here's my plan: Every day in January - come Hell or highwater or grandkids or homeschooling or biology classes or Search-and-Rescue training or 4-H creative flashes of genius or needs/demands from GrammaJ - I WILL write at least 30 minutes on one of the two WIPs. Hopefully I'll be able to work longer on some/many/most of the days. I'm just going to sit and focus a few moments, then set the timer and write like there's no tomorrow.

In order to insure (ensure?) my ability to stick to this lofty plan, I will enforce the following:

A. Limit Facebook to 15 minutes max per day. Yes, I WILL use a timer and no, I will not check on my friends again later in the day.

B. If I am away from home overnight (like on the search-and-rescue training jags) I will take a notebook and start outlining my new story idea.

C. Blogging does not count as part of my writing time.

D. I will post a brief report here at least twice a week so you all can hold me accountable and can cheer me on or help me out when I write my characters into a corner.

In order to prepare, today is reading day! I need to refresh my memory on how my people think and act!

Thanks for being here for me!

Through the Molasses Swamp and Linear Equation, HERE I COME!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Me Too!

I have edits to work on, trying to take Forever Home, a 90+K manuscript and shorten it to 60K. Should be fun! I'd also love to finish last year's NaNo project The Staying Kind.

Looking forward to it!

Count me in!

I have revisions due on a 50K manuscript mid-January so my JaNoWriMo will be condensed why I revise the manuscript! I'll write a new proposal (three chapters and synopsis) for the second part of the month!

I'm in!

I'll be working on edits, not on something new... Maybe. I'd planned on editing Return to Stiller Creek, but the sequel to Kitchen Matches (working title is Drive Me Crazy) has been banging against my brain the past few days with ideas on how I can make it funnier and better than it was (for a romantic comedy, it was awfully dry and boring).

This is assuming I have power on January 1st (though I suppose I could write on paper -- it's just that Stiller Creek is on my computer in its entirety and Drive Me Crazy is about 13,000 words on my computer).

In any case .... I'M HERE, I'M HERE!

Who else?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here I Come!

I'm in!

I've decided to write a Regency romance called One Grand Season. I am psyched!

What's everyone else working on in January?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Me, too & a Question to All JaNo-ers

I, too, am giving up the ghost. My NaNo story just wasn't cooperating, and I refuse to waste my writing time on a story that isn't useable. So, I'm back to editing "Return to Stiller Creek" and working on the new "A Jewel For Geoff" instead.

Good luck to the NaNoers out there!

Also, to the folks here at the JaNoWriMo blog -- is there any reason or interest to keep this blog open? If not, I'm going to shut it down. Though I do admit to having a January NaNo on my mind...

Please let me know?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Throwing In The Towel

Yeah, I know the month isn't even half over, but I'm so far behind that I don't think I'm going to catch up. I've thought a lot about Marianne's post and I think she's right. At least for this year, I don't think I need to prove to myself that I can write the 50K.

It's not that I don't like the plot I've come up with, or the characters, but right now I feel like I have a big dissembled puzzle in front of me and not enough time to put it together in a way that's going to make me happy in the end. Meanwhile, I have a finished manuscript that needs editing and another that's almost finished that I really like.

I only got to about 11500 words, but for now I'm just going to put it aside and take a look at it sometime down the road. Maybe I can make it into a novella or something.

Good luck to everyone else who are still hanging in there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bowing Out

My NaNoWriMo journey is coming to an early end. I need to focus on getting the book completed by December 1st and don't have time to be counting words and thinking about anything else but submitting the best manuscript I can. Good luck to everyone still participating! No matter if you hit 50K or not, you're a winner!


So... I started writing on my NaNo book again yesterday and ... it sucks. It's boring, it has almost no conflict, and the characters are wooden.

Yes, really.

And, I contemplated and considered and realized -- I HATE editing. HATE it. Especially when there are major plot changes. So the question I asked myself was: do I push through (because I know I can get 50,000 really sucky words) or do I stop, breath, and brainstorm a little bit so that when this thing is done, it's actually something I can use.


I want it to be something I can use. So, for the next couple of days, I'm going to stop writing and start thinking. I'm going to consider what my real conflict is (because the one I thought I have isn't one as it turns out), what the black moment will be (because, oddly, I never had one in mind) and how I can flesh out my characters a little better.

I know that's not what NaNo is about. I know I'm supposed to say "Damn the torpedos (or in this case, the plot) and full speed ahead!", but the last time I did that, I got 50,000 words and a story that was shelved, never to see the light of day.

That's just a stupid waste of time. I don't need to prove to myself I can write a novel -- I've done that. I need to use my time wisely. Do I hope I can jump back in and still make my goal? Absolutely. If I know where I'm going, then writing 2000 words or more a day shouldn't be out of the question.

So... that's where I am. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hanging on....sort of

Well, I'm still at it. I'm so painfully far behind though, that I'm doubting my ability to finish this.

I revamped the characters, started it fresh and like the story much much better, but there have been so many distractions that it seems impossible to write. Everyone seems to gather in the dining room (ie the office) and they chat and sing and have a grand ole time.

Or I'm running errands. Today it was groceries. Tomorrow it's laundry. Never can catch a break! But at least I can bring a notebook with me tomorrow over laundry. At least I can find some quiet at the laundramat.

Anyway, I'm at 7624 words (sorry, no cute writopia potato guys). I've got a loooong way to go to catch up!!

But one bit of good news... the girls (2 of them) are going over for a sleepover at a friends tonite. So it'll be somewhat quiet.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back at it

I had surgery on Thursday so haven't written in days. I'm not even sure where I am, but I'll try to figure it out. I'm hoping to write today. I did some revising on paper this weekend, but it hurts to sit at my computer too long so haven't done much typing at all. The book is due December 1 so I'm a bit panicky.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day Seven: By the Skin of My Teeth

I'm barely hanging on. Am about 1000 words behind again today, but will try to make it up this afternoon, with any luck, plus more. Tomorrow is going to be a long, rough day, so I need to do all the computer work I can today, which will cut into my writing time. *sigh*

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaNo Tool of the Day

This is a great site if you're stuck and want a little something to get your juices going again! It's called The Seventh Sanctum, and has a zillion prompts, ideas, name generators, scene generators and more. Be warned, it's addictive and could be a time waster, but it's also VERY helpful.

Have fun!

Day Six: Let's Play "Change the Hero"

I was writing in my story today and realized I wanted to refer to one of Cori's other brothers, so I pulled up the character list from "Kitchen Matches" -- and it hit me: there was NO possible way Zach could be the hero of my story. See, the whole basis of my H & H's relationship is that they shared a kiss in high school ... and Zach is almost seven years older than my heroine!! So, um, they weren't in school together.

And, to be honest, Nick (the brother who is closest in age to my heroine) fits my hero's character profile much better anyway. So, this morning, I went through and changed all the "Zach's" to "Nick's" and then added in some scenes of Nick being his usual flirty, playboy self.

I didn't get my entire total yet for the day, but hope to hit it again this afternoon. I'm only 500 words short, so it should be easy enough!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hmmm.... It could work

I had a thought about this wip. I could actually blend it with another idea I had though it would completely change my heroine's personality.

Okay, what do people think of bad girls who are trying to get onto the straight and narrow?

I think that was my problem, my heroine was just a little too nice.

But then I'd have to work everything else around the personality change.

Might be worth it.

Houston.... we have a problem

Okay, I'm psyched that I made it over the 10k mark, but honestly I'm not happy. I have no idea how I'm going to continue with this story. It's like I've hit this big void and I'm asking myself "okay, now what happens?" I seriously don't know. I thought I knew where I was going with this, but for some reason I just don't.

So, even though I'm nearly a week into it, is it too late to dump it and go in a different direction? With a new wip?

This is such a cold cold feeling.

NaNo Tool of the Day

Okay, this isn't so much a tool as a prompt help. Getting stuck and don't know where to go? Then challenge yourself to use the "word of the day" -- and get a giggle from reading it via "Word of the Duh" blog!

I've challenged myself to find a way to use the daily word somewhere, somehow in my WIP. It helps my brain work in a different way, and sometimes encourages me to brainstorm new scenes and new possiblities.

Have fun!

Day Five: Still Hanging in!

I had a LOT of catching up to do, and didn't figure I'd be able to do it. DH got up early this a.m. again (though not as early as he had been, thankfully), but I got about 500 words this morning before that happened.

Then... a miracle. He left to go to his uncle's place for a couple hours, and DD left to do school. I HAD TIME ALONE. Shocking, but true. And I closed all my email windows, closed my website software, told myself it was okay not to do LASR work for a couple of hours and I wrote. And the moment my NaNo Excel report card said "Way to Go!" in the little comments column instead of "Get on It!", I stopped. I am currently just barely at the word count I need to be for NaNoWriMo (1666 words per day), but that's okay. I'll just keep plugging along no matter what. Slow and steady and all that...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day Four

I wrote 1481 new words and revised 9 pages. I wished I'd done more, but oh, well... Today is another day.

NaNo (fun) Tool of the Day


Wordle is fun and serves a purpose -- words you use most show up the largest, so you can see if you're overusing something (for instance, if "it" or "was" is one of the biggest words, you know you've got a problem!). I did a Wordle on my NaNo novel as it is so far, and this is what I got:

Thankfully, "it" isn't one of the huge words, lol! In any case -- enjoy :-)

Edited to add: First off, I didn't realize, but Wordle is set to ignore common English words, so "it" wouldn't have shown up anyway.

Second, Judy posted her NaNo Wordle here.

Day Four: Chugging Along

Okay... I made up my word count yesterday, but then this a.m. DH and DD were both up early, so I only got a little over 600 words. Hopefully I can get at least another 1000 later today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On my way!

I didn't write as many words as I'd hoped for the first two days, but I suppose anything is better than nothing. My goal is to finish the book by November 16th. At this rate I'm behind 23 pages (bad writing weekend) so need to crank it up a few notches. I may skip around a little rather than write in order. There are a couple of scenes I've been itching to get to!

NaNo Tool for the Day

Help yourself along with a prompt!

Go to this site at least once a day and use the sentence generated (or something very close) in your writing that day:

Or go to Wikipedia and click on "random article" and use that in your story.

Have fun!

Day Three: A Work In Progress

This a.m. was not a banner morning for writing... I hope to get more in this afternoon. But for now:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Calling It A Day

Not bad at all but I better stop before I fall asleep on my keyboard.

So, my total thus far is.....

So, that leaves 42959 words to go. I need to average 1535 a day for the rest of the month.

So far so good.

Off and well, sorta writing...

My goal for NaNo is to finish the manuscript due December 1. It's a sequel to my November 08 release, Rescued by the Magic of Christmas, and will be published in late 2010.

Of course I had an Irish dance feis yesterday and we got a new kitten named Yoda last night so I've been writing on my Alphasmart with no idea how many words I have. I'll be sure to download tonight so I have a word count for the first two days. At least I have a few words. Just need many, many more!

Good luck to everyone!


NaNo Tool for the Day

I may not post these every day, but will do what I can.

One of my favorites (though it scares me, too) is Write or Die. I have to admit to being too scared to use it for more than a few minutes at a time, because that way I won't lose TOO much if I mess up, lol.

It's a great site. Check it out.

Day Two: Still Hanging In!

Well.. things aren't going *quite* how I had planned. My DH is getting up at 4 a.m. to go hunting, so my writing time is getting eaten up a little. He's off all week, so I expect this will be the norm. I'll just have to deal.

Even so, I'm still (barely) keeping up with the needed word count:

Uh oh... my word count meter picture isn't showing. So, my word count total is: 3,478!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

End Of Day One

Yup. That's me. Maybe I'll increase my word count before bedtime.

Or maybe I'll just veg in front of the tv and wait for dinner to be done.

I did spend a little time making a collage for my story.

I think it may be a horse story... Haven't written a good horse story in a long time.

NaNo Tool for the Day

Since Ceri mentioned needing it -- the word count widge I use can be found at Writertopia.

And I think it's a potato.

Enjoy :-)

So far....

2628 words.

But I need to stop for breakfast. I hope to add to that total later on.

I need to find my link to those cool raisen (or is it a potato) guy with the word count. :)

Day One: So Far, So Good

I got up early ... thanks to the time change, and wrote!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Yes, I'm Doing NaNo

Okay... so my last post got two responses (Thanks, Melissa and Sarita!), so I'm guessing no one else is up to the challenge.

But, I'm doing NaNoWriMo and I'll probably post here now and then, just because it's a shame to see the blog sitting empty. If anyone else wants to post, come on over and we can support each other!

For now -- some sites to help out with NaNo in case any one stumbles over here.

The Genreality blog has some tips for Time Management and Tracking Your Writing.

Lynn Viehl is offering her Novel Notebook as a free download. It's a great way to organize your writing before you start.

Suzanne Pitner wrote an article on Succeeding at NaNoWriMo.

That's it. It's only two days away. Hoo-Rah.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Starting Anew -- and A NaNo/JaNo Challenge

Hey folks -- don't know if anyone is going to read this post since it's been awhile since the blog's been active... but...

November is coming up -- and that's NaNoWriMo month. I already know I'm too overloaded to complete 55000 words in 30 days, but I want to challenge myself to do SOMETHING during November.

I've decided that writing at least 500 words a day isn't outside the realm of possibility. If I manage to do more, it's icing on the cake.

Anyone else want to join me? And... if you're going for the gold of NaNo, you're welcome to post here as well. I'd love to see posts on accomplishments, ways you work through writer's block, how you set aside time to write and reach your goals, prompts ... even the what line of yours from that day was your favorite.

If no one's up for the task, that's fine -- I'm doing it regardless. But, I wanted to see if I could stir up a little interest. If you are, either leave a comment or email me.

And -- if you happen to stumble across this blog and you're not a member but want to join us, leave me a comment and we'll add you in. The more, the merrier!!

Happy Autumn!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Writing Prompt: Humorscope

I wrote one of my free reads doing this (Life in the Details, if you're interested) and I think it's fun!

Go to Humorscope.

Try to use YOUR sign to write either a scene from an existing work, or just a quick short story to flex your writing muscles. Share if you'd like to. They change every day, so if you don't like today's, you can try tomorrow -- but make sure you copy the one you use, since it will disappear!

Have fun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Well, I think I've come to the decision that I'm going to spend my summer editing.

I've been having some issues with my manuscripts and I really need to get them fixed. Currently I have 7 finished manuscripts. At least. Two of them are submitted to two different publishers, the others need me. Desperately. The past two weeks, except for a few prompts, I've done nothing but edit. Nothing new. So much for my 500 words a day.

Until I have these manuscripts in order I'm going to halt the new writing. I'd like to see a few more submissions go out before I turn to a new project.

Of course this is going to be EXCEEDINGLY difficult because I love to write the new stuff. I generally have several different projects going at any given time, but I have to put on my serious author's hat and get these finished ones done.

But if Marianne posts any more prompts I'll be happy to play with those. I love prompts.

And I'll be checking in.

But my word count will sadly remain at 0 until I'm able to start writing queries and synopsis's.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Prompt

Okay, I think I did this correctly. But if I didn't please forgive me. I've had a long day that included rescuing a desk from the recycling center (makes my old desk look like it belongs in a second grade class), sick kids, driving a half hour for chinese food only to discover I went to the wrong restaurant and the one I really ordered from (in error) is only 2 minutes from my house.

So, I only did 4.

1) Core 2 (from my Dell tower)
2)Winter Signs (written on the top of one of my kid's school papers)
3)Surprise Return (From a TV Guide article)
4)All The Reasons- (From a Reisen candy ad)

Story Premise

1)Core 2- A team of scientists must recreate the earth's core for the survival of mankind.

2)Winter Signs-A loner in the mountains is forced to share his home with a stranded hiker during a blizzard.

3)Surprise Return-Sarah had no reason to doubt that Ted was never going to return, but when he comes back with a fiance, she has to deal with her broken heart all over again.

4)All The Reasons-There was nothing that Beth and Pete had in common, but they still couldn't imagine a life apart.

I did an exercise like this before. My group had to come up with a title and premise or hook for each letter in the alphabet. It was fun and came up with some good ideas!

My Really Bad Week-But A Prompt

I can count the number of new words I wrote this week on one hand and still have 4 fingers and a thumb left over. That's it. A big fat goose egg.

Add to that the fact I got another R this week and a huge workload and that equals blah.

Actually, the R was, as usual, complimentary and encouraging and they said they weren't interested "at this time" which leaves a door open for a someday.

So, what did I do? I queried the same story to Avon. So there. And all week I've been working on the issue the rejecting editor had with the sample I sent. Passive sentences.

So, I have been working, just not on anything new.

I did manage to do the prompt though, which I'll post shortly. Right now I have to head out to pick up my DD who's returning from two days of Special Olympics.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Writing Prompt #3

Okay... I'll try not to be SO weird, lol.

I actually came up with the idea for "Kitchen Matches" from a writing prompt I found on Lynn Viehl's blog, Paperback Writer. It's fun, unique and no two people should have the same answer.

For this week's writing prompt, go HERE and do what she says. Have fun!

And, keep on setting that 10 minute timer.

Another Week...Still No Prompt

Well, Marianne, I tried this prompt but what I came up with made no sense--in a bad way. I may keep going at it because, quite frankly, it's a challenge. I did do the ten minute typing challenge. I've been doing that daily. Works well, even with the added distraction of children around.

As far as word count goes, I finished last week with 5178 words, working on two different wips. Not too bad. Not as good as last week though. But I was a day short because I counted last Sunday's words last week since May was ending. That was another 1300 words. But I won't count them twice.

My daughter and stepdaughter have spent all of yesterday writing their own stories. I was busy editing SD's story while she was writing a new one. My DD wrote a very short (and rather disturbing) story and parts of three others. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I think I may have a little Stephen King on my hands. And if her writing now is any indication, she's going to be one heck of a writer when she grows up and develops her talent. If she sticks to it, that is. She's pretty good for a twelve year old!

I hope that isn't just a mother's bias.

Everyone have a super Sunday! It's cake baking day here at the Hebert hacienda. Joy.

I hate baking.

With a passion.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Thank goodness May is over. The good news is I'm alive! At time, I wasn't quite sure I'd see June arrive. The other good news is I actually managed some words. Not as many as I hoped, but with all that's going on I'll take the 3386 words. I also revised 13581 words and resubmitted my proposal.

I have until July 1st to get this book written. Because of my skiing accident, I may need surgery in the next few weeks. Until I find out for sure though, I'm writing like crazy. Not even a cast on my left hand is going to slow me down.

Hope the words are flowing for you!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt: Have a character begin misquoting literary classics at every occasion.

Writing Challenge (repeated cuz I like it so well): EVERY DAY set the timer for ten minutes and write. Do. Not. Stop. Writing. Doesn't matter if what you write makes sense, just open up the gates and go. We can--each one of us--find ten minutes every day to do this.

Everyone is Chicken?

Here is my chicken story -- what... no one else wrote about chickens?

The dog moved purposefully through the room until she reached the sliding glass door that led to the backyard. She stood with her nose to the crack and woofed again.

“I can’t let you out there.” Ben laid a hand on the dogs back. Her fur was soft and clean. She clearly belonged to someone, but he knew Pete didn’t own her. “There are chickens.”

She barked again, commanding him this time, and the stern sound of her voice made him take a step back. Maybe she wasn’t as pleasant as he’d thought.

“Pete would never forgive me if I let you eat his chickens.”

The dog started digging frantically at the floor in front of the door, her claws making deep scratches in the hardwood floor.

“Well, crap. He won’t forgive me for that, either.” He grabbed hold of the dog’s scruff and hoped she wouldn’t snap at him. She didn’t, but she did fight him to stay by the door.

“No. You’re going back outside. Go home.” He shoved her squirming body back out the front door and closed it quickly behind her.

Slapping his hands together, a job well done, he turned to get back to work. He hadn’t even gotten one strip done and he was behind because of his sudden need to vacate his old home and move in here.

He sure hoped Pete turned out to be a better roommate than Joey had been. He’d been able to deal, just barely, with Joey’s many quirks: his weird eating habits, his slovenly housekeeping and even his new woman every night—right up until one of those women crawled into bed with Ben.

Not that Ben didn’t like women. He did, and quite a lot. He was just a bit more discerning in who he slept with and had no interest in taking on someone else’s sloppy seconds.

The doorbell rang before he even made it back to the breakfast bar, his current make-due desktop where he’d settled in to create the latest bit of “Hard Knocks”. He looked over his shoulder and wondered if it was the dog again. How could that be possible?

It rang again. And then the barking began. Frantic, crazy barking with a few pitiful yelps thrown in. Then clawing at the door. At this rate, the front door would look as if Freddie Krueger had tried to break in.

Ben flopped into his chair and covered his ears tightly with his hands. He wondered if he shouldn’t have just gotten a lock for his bedroom door at Joey’s instead.

About the time he had decided to call animal control, the door opened and the dog came flying through the opening, skittered across the floor to the back and cried.

Pete, sweat dripping from his slightly chunky body, stood in the open door. “Why didn’t you let Sheba in?”

“Sheba?” Ben asked, knowing his friend meant the dog, but unaware that the dog belonged here at this house. He’d never seen her before. “Why would I?”

“She visits during the week.” Pete snatched a towel off the end of the couch and wiped his face. The first morning he’d been here, Ben had tidied up and had moved the folded towel from that spot. When Pete had returned, dripping, from his morning run and found it gone, he’d read Ben the riot act.

Ben hadn’t touched anything that wasn’t his again. It seemed that Pete was particular about his things, and not the slob that Joey had been. Ben learned quickly that everything had its place, and was usually there for a good reason, even if it didn’t make sense to him.

He could live with that.

“So, do I let her out back?” Ben gestured to where the dog sat whining at the glass door.

“Sure. Why not?” Pete tossed the towel into the laundry room just off the entry way.

“The chickens? Don’t dogs eat chicken?”

“Not Sheba. I’m for the shower.” Pete thumped up the stairs and left Ben to deal with the anxious German shepherd.

“Well, okay.” Ben shrugged and felt a bit like he’d fallen into the rabbit hole, but he still walked to the back door to let the dog out.

The moment the door was open, Sheba was out like a shot. She circled the yard, herding the chickens into a group and then Ben swore she counted them. She touched her nose to each one in turn before she settled down onto the grass, curled up in a small patch of sunshine. The chickens didn’t move far from her inert body, just pecked and scratched in orbit around her.

Yep, Tweedledee and Tweedledum should be showing up at any time.

I can't believe I'm the only one....

Did anyone at least set their timers for ten minutes every day and write?

May Is Done

Okay, I decided to wait until today to post my week count and combine it with my monthly total.
So, I had a pretty good week this week. Better than I thought. Maybe because I pushed to make up for last week and I didn't have much to do but write. I wrote 7438 words this week, working on three different projects. I started another young adult story, but put it aside for another one I've been working on for awhile. And last night and this morning I worked on a query for a short story. I'm planning on submitting it to The Wild Rose Press. It's an odd little story and I'm not sure what catagory to submit it under. It's about a woman who goes to bed at the age of forty-four and wakes up as a twenty-three year old, knowing now what she didn't know then. It's her chance for "do overs". It's a very light romance, but I'm just not sure if it would fall under regular contemporary or not. Any suggestions?

Anyway, my May total is 24164 words. Boy, glad I wasn't striving for 50K!

Time to get dressed. Need to get the Sunday paper.

Everyone enjoy the day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Where Did the Time Go?

I keep asking myself that. It seems like just when I think I'll have a moment to write or edit or do something for myself... it doesn't happen. Where does it go? Does anyone know?

Well, this last week has actually been pretty good. As far as writing it's been more about editing and getting some rewrites done that needed to be done so I could feel good about submitting this story. It's my Cowboy story, and I'm hoping it doesn't need much more since I had to rewrite the entire ending and parts of the middle. I think it's so much better for it now.

So, my word count for this last week is mostly rewrites, but it's all new to the story... so it counts. LOL I have 3513 new words for that story, and about half of the edits which add I dunno a couple thousand more words, but only in tweaking. LOL

Now, to see if it's ready for submission. Cross your fingers, I want to get it submitted by the end of the month... and that's Sunday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekly Word Count

Well, last week was much better than the week before. I think switching wips may have helped. Actually I worked on two different wips last week. I know I know... I need to concentrate on one, but I'd rather go where I'm being most productive. I started (well picked up an old wip) a young adult story on Wednesday and it's been flowing very nicely. It's not the one I had been working on earlier in the year, this one is more contemporary. I've been trying to figure out what kids want to be reading, what I would've liked to have read when I was a teen. I know vampires are big these days, but no, I'm not writing a teenage vampire story. I don't think I'd want to compete there, but my main character won't be any ordinary teenager.

So, my word count for this week is 6971 words. I can't complain. I do have to do some editing on other things, though. I'm itching to get something submitted somewhere (although I do have a manuscript with L & L Dreamspell, but no word yet).

I tried the chicken prompt but my chickens were not very spontaneous. Maybe today something scathingly brilliant will hit me. For now I have to concentrate on cute boys and an ice cream stand.

But I did the ten minute writing challenge. I like that. Works well when I don't have any distractions.

Everyone have a lovely Sunday! I'm going flea marketing soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thanks for inviting me back!


This sounds like fun. I accept the challenge but may have to wait until the holiday weekend is over to participate.


And just what is YOUR chicken story?


Writing Prompt and Writing Challenge

I only heard back from a couple of people, including one commenter (Hi, Melanie! - and yes, the "wri" sounds like write *G*) on whether prompts or challenges would be something we'd like to do here.

But, heck, since I like prompts and challenges, I decided to go ahead and start posting them anyway.

So... I will do my utmost to have one of each posted each Saturday for us to use the following week to stimulate our writing juices! I tend to be a little... er... quirky, so hopefully my prompts will work with you, even if you aren't.


Writing Prompt: Include a Spontaneous Chicken Situation. It doesn't matter what a SCS is. Just include it.

Writing Challenge: EVERY DAY set the timer for ten minutes and write. Do. Not. Stop. Writing. Doesn't matter if what you write makes sense, just open up the gates and go. We can--each one of us--find ten minutes every day to do this.

Next week, let us know how you did. Did it help you write? What was good and/or what was bad?

Folks, feel free to tell a friend about JaNoWriMo... we need to build up the ranks once more...

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Haz a Thought

Hey ... things are awfully quiet in here, and I'd like to get them stirred up a bit. Some suggestions:

1. A weekly writing prompt.
2. Timed writing.
3. Writing challenges.
4. Other (insert suggestion here).

I LOVE writing prompts... they really get my juices going. I'd be happy to post one every week if anyone was interested.

Otherwise, is it possible JaNo has run its course?

Let me know what you think!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not much...

I've been going from crisis to crisis the past few weeks. It's been horrible for my writing output. I was hoping my daughter's illness was it. I was wrong. This past week my son got hit in the face with a baseball during Little League practice. He's got quite the shiner.

Somehow among all the hospital visits for tests and doctor appointments, I managed 1164 words. Not a lot, but something. Most likely due to my writing in Seattle this weekend. I'll take it!

I'm hoping life will be back to normal now.

Fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bad Busy Week

Well, it was bad for writing, that is. Seemed like I didn't have one afternoon free all week. Always on the go. So there for I only hit my goal I think 3 out of 4 days. Guess that's good considering.

My weekly goal is 3314 words. I've been working on 2 different wips. Got tired of my new new wip when I started having to force it, so I went back to an "old new" wip and it's a little better. I've also started to edit my "short" story (just over 20K).

Yesterday I spent the day burning my face to a crisp. I forgot my sunscreen and I'm one of those fair skinned kinds of British and Danish decent so now I'm feeling poofy and warm. But had a fun time at the NH Pitch Hit and Run competition my son was involved in. He's never been on a baseball team, never really did any of those things until a few weeks ago and he was up against kids who all play on teams, so even though he didn't qualify to go to the next level, he still did pretty well and we had a good time. Now he wants to work on getting on a team for next year.

Off to write. Need to do better this week!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mid-Week Posting...

I plumb forgot to post on Saturday... some nag I am!!

I've written very little, working more on editing for now. I've also been fighting a ten-day headache (I think I hurt my shoulder tilling the garden and threw my neck out of whack), so can't spend as much time on the computer. Lots of excuses, which I hate to give.

But, I'm trying what I can. I may end up writing in longhand -- something I'm not really excited about, but I really want to get some writing down. I'll keep you posted.

What about everyone else?

No Clue

I haven't written at the computer in almost two weeks. I did have words the Monday before last, but I got sick after sending out my proposal, then my youngest got really sick. I did get revisions on my proposal so I've been doing those by hand. I hope to have a word count next Monday. Well, I'd better or I won't be sleeping the month of June in order to make my July 1 deadline.


but not on goal. I've got 9,780 new words this month, so I'm close to the 1,000 words a day I set for myself but, as we all know, close is not exactly there.

I hope to have a chance this evening to catch up. If all goes well I may even get a bit ahead of myself. Fingers crossed!

How are you doing? Hmm?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

End of the first week in May

I did okay. I forgot that I upped my daily word count, but I had one really good day that made up for my lack of words on other days.

My total for this week is 6441.

This past week I managed to finish a short story and work on a new piece. I really need to concentrate on some editing though. I have lots and lots to edit.

But working on my new piece, working on my new hero, I asked myself "could this guy be hero material?"

I've been in a The Office mood lately. I love this guy. He's adorable and his character on The Office is awesome. But he's got a goofiness that might not work. Any thoughts?

Off I go to get some groceries. I may add to my word count later. Or I might edit.

Oh, I'm going to be interviewed tomorrow on Denise Robbin's blog. She's been very helpful in the marketing department, something I'm pretty bad at.

Stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Okay folks... here's who I have

This is everyone I've heard from this month -- if I don't hear from you (even if you don't want to play this month), I'll go ahead and take you off the list of contributors so I don't bug you if/when I email. K?

Me!: 500 words/day
Sarita: 1000 words/day
Ceri: 750 words/day
Keri: sitting this month out
Melissa: 5000 words/week (?)
Kealie: Goal to be decided

That means that I didn't hear from:


You guys still want to play? Take the month off and come back in June? Whatever... just let me know!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Three of us for May?

I've only heard from four people, and one of those is taking the month off. So far, I have:


The numbers are dwindling... anyone have writing friends who might want to jump on board and energize the group?

Friday, May 1, 2009

April? Meh

It wasn't a super duper month so I'm not doing any happy dances right now, and I really have no excuses. I just couldn't find my spark for most of the month. I think my muse went on spring break and left me high and dry.

I managed to eek (or is that eke?) out 21949 words all month on 3 different wips, none of which I finished. I did, however, add some new words to a manuscript that's in for complete renovation, but I don't think it was more than 1000 words. I generally don't count new words added during editing (though maybe I should).

I'm going to strive to do better in May though got some big doin's this month (my sister and b-i-l are arriving this Saturday evening with my new niece. They adopted a baby girl in October and they're finally making it out our way. I'm so excited!!)

So, here's to a prolific May!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Hopping April

April has officially come and gone ( or nearly so!) and my word count fell short of my goal. I managed 43,000 words, give or take a word or two, so I'm not upset with myself. The annoying part is that I jumped around from wip to wip, so those words are spread over three different manuscripts. It's not like me to do that, and I'm not sure I want to continue hopping about. But now I've got three partially written novels, and ideas for each of them rolling around in my head.


I just may have to keep hopping until they're done. After that, though, no more jumping from one thing to another this way. It's just not my best method to work.

How is everyone looking for May? Me? I anticipate a very busy month, with a long-term visitor, more garden chores and truckloads of firewood that will need to be stacked, so I'm going to drop my goal down to 1,000 words a day. It should be doable, and I'm hopeful that I'll manage to get at least one wip finished. Fingers crossed!


Who's in for May? If you're in, email me your May goals... and y'all might consider doing a "wrap-up" post for April to let us know how you did for the month.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Huge sigh of relief...

Sorry I didn't post last Monday. I totally forgot, but there wasn't much to say. Like a few others here, I've been having a really tough time being productive. With a deadline (proposal today!), however, I didn't have much choice but to write this past week.

It wasn't easy (that's putting it lightly), but I managed to put together a proposal. It still needs some work, which I'll get to as soon as I post this, but those words will count for this coming week.

I'm quite happy with the results since I finally met my weekly word count with 5861 new words! About time. I also revised 12746 words, too. Not a bad week at all.

Now to keep it up!

Hope the words are flowing for everyone!


Zip... Zero... *sigh*

Yup, I'm here checking in, but I got nothing. Between my back (started PT this week, and I do feel stronger so I can sit at the computer for longer periods of time YAY!) and having friends in town over the weekend I have a big fat zero for word count... again. Grrrr...

Now that things seem to be slowing down in some areas (friends, family, etc.)... and picking up in others (health, Physical Therapy, etc.)... I'm hoping, praying, begging, that I'll have time now to sit and finish up edits, write some and get through emails that have accumulated. Cross your fingers, and I will too. Happy writing everyone! :-D

Sunday, April 26, 2009

new week, new machine, new hopes

I really was going to post today, anyway--but I just love the nagging picture with the oven mitts for boxing gloves. Creativity and versatility all in one great image! Thanks, Marianne!

This week is pseudo confession time. It's good, but bear with me.

I've had a very nice paying gig this week that I'm looking at as not just a high hourly rate for writing (something that has sadly dropped off lately with the economy), but a way to start my own mental wheels rolling toward submission when I get SW completed. I've been researching agents and writing submission letters and synopses for a lawyer who finds it cost effective to pay me 10% of his hourly wage to do the kind of writing he hasn't been very successful at doing. He's fiction is fine--but his letters and synopses have not gotten the attention he wants (and with good reason, because this obviously isn't his forte). Since he's successful lawyer, my 10% of his 100% is a very nice little wage, thank you, and I don't have to also pay for an office outside my home, receptionist, secretary, paralegals, etc. Though I do long for my own personal assistant, but that's another story.

But I did NOT put my fiction completely on a back burner--only kinda. It's allergy season around here--I live near Tulsa, a city which muscles its way onto every bad allergy poll each year. We consistently top the charts on mold and pollen. That said, Zyrtec is my 11 month out of 12 sidekick, but by this time (and around Thanksgiving) even the big Z can't keep me up and mobile all the time. So, I've had several down days in the last two weeks, and couple that with the lawyer's deadline and my fiction hasn't gotten any extra time. However, I've mostly made my 1500 words a day of fiction--and almost like half of them.

And my reward for being good and working on marketing someone else's book because mine isn't ready yet came in the arrival of my very new, very cute, very oooh-oooh-oooh Asus 1000HA net book. I'm typing on it right now, and since it's only about 3 pounds it's going to be my constant companion now wherever I go. I plan on tripling my output just because of this wonderful little gizmo. I was going to put the Snoopy Dance after this paragraph, instead of at the top, but I couldn't figure out how to get the image to imbed into the type. I'll try a different approach next time--add the picture first--and see if that accomplishes the goal better. See, even my experimental creativity is improving, as I'd never tried to add an image to the blog before. I credit my Asus!

No, I'm not going to up my daily goal yet--yes, yet--but we'll just have to see how it goes. I'm very optimistic by nature, and this little jewel (yes, I got the pearl case) just makes me smile and want to type more.
So whenever you're writing uphill, don't forget to reward yourself. Yes, part of my upcoming check is now already spent, but if it pays off in more fiction I win over and again!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

May Flowers and More Writing

Not a lot of novel writing due to a plethora of yucky reasons, including the sudden death of a beautiful co-worker, friend, and amazing teacher.   

But, I did finish a couple of magazine articles, my column, two essays, and I shared a great chat with my agent on Thursday. I'm gearing up for May and excited to get back to my 1000 words a day. 

It's a balmy 80 degrees at the Jersey shore today, so I'm headed to the beach and boardwalk for a recharge. Hope everyone is enjoying fabulous weather. :) 

Enjoy your weekend!! :) 

The Nag Hat is ON!

Hey all... Here is who committed for this month:


And... yet... I'm thinking I've only heard from three or four folks.

C'mon, it only takes a moment to post. Tell us what you have or haven't done. We want to be here for you, but can't if you won't post. It's so QUIET in here. Lonely. Sad.


Please come back. Don't make me come hunt you down.

Six Hundred...

That's how many words I wrote last week. While it wasn't great, it was better than the big, fat zero from the week before.

This weekend, I have a challenge going with a friend: 7500 words by Monday morning. We gave each other one line to use and ten random words. I love prompts.

Wish me luck.

Better Than I Thought

I really thought I'd had a lousy week. Okay, so not as bad as last week, but still, not great. I spent so much time contemplating what I had to write, the wips I had to chose from and nothing really generated a spark of interest. I spent time contemplating my "bad" characters to decide if I should reinvent them (see my Opinions Needed post).

In the end I worked on something brand new (but stopped when I realized I didn't have much of a plot developed) and finally ended the week working on a short story (shortish, I'm up to 12605 words and I have a few thousand more to go, but I'm determined to keep it short-ish). I found my spark there and actually had to force myself to stop because it's a spicy story and I got to a spicy part, which I don't like to write with kids around. I can spend the rest of my day (if I get anymore writing time) editing.

My grand total for the week is 5038 words. I could've done better but I completely wasted one day just staring at my computer (okay, and going to Facebook and such).

Only a few more days left in April! I'll post my month total on Thursday.

It's a beautiful day here. Think I'll take the kids out geocaching!

Just the facts, ma'am

No excuses. Just the facts.

Word count for the month is just over 34,000 words. Not awful, but not where I need to be if I plan to meet monthly goal. The fact of it is that I'm not going to make 50,000 words before Friday. The upcoming week is jam-packed, leaving barely enough wiggle room for eating, let alone writing.

I'm not totally bummed about falling short. The words I've got have already been tweaked a bit. I've gotten into the habit of reading the previous day's work before beginning anew so I've gotten some fine-tuning into the mix that I hadn't taken the time to do before now. A new, good habit, I think.

What about you? How's the month panning out for your writing? I hope you've had a productive writing month!

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Opinions Needed

Okay, I have a question regarding heroes and other male characters in a story. I've got a manuscript that I'm going to be overhauling (still in the think process) that has a hero who's clearly the hero and my heroine's ex-husband who clearly isn't the hero. I've been considering making life harder for my heroine by making the ex a little more sympathetic, a little more like the man she would've stayed married to if he hadn't been the cold jerk he was before the divorce.

How do you feel about the heroine having a choice between two men (though I know who she'll end up with)? Do you like the it to be clear cut? Knowing there's no way she's going to go for the other guy because he's the spawn of Satan? Or could there be that element of "hmm... okay, I could see her with the other guy even though I prefer the hero".

I started another manuscript, only because I was getting tired of the one I was working on and needed something fresh for awhile, and I was thinking the same thing. The heroine has a best friend who's a guy and her fiance, one of them isn't going to be too nice, but it could go either way. Or maybe the "not so nice" one will just end up as Mr. Pretty Close But We Want Different Things.

I've probably just confused everyone. But why should I be alone in my misery, right?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Excuse me. I seem to be lost. Where have I been?

I know I was writing earlier in the week. And I know I've been driving a lot and had some paying work come in that interrupted things plus piano rehearsals, recital, middle-school drama and even some veterinary issues. I worked in the yard all day yesterday, and I'm freezing some make-ahead dinners today so I'll be free to write in the coming days (and I hope week or two because those groceries were expensive). But it's a little scary how I really can't report on what I've done because I guess the answer is as Ceri put it, "Writin'? What writin'? I don't know nothin' about no writin'."

I will have tomatoes. And I will have more writin'. 'Cause I might get sidetracked that easy, but I don't give up that easy. (Yes, I know it should be "easily" but "easy" speaks more to my redneck heart.)

Y'all, let's get some writin' done!

Writin? I Don't Know Nuthin' 'Bout No Writin'

Yah, it must've been that kind of week for a lot of people.

I had one day of mediocre writing.


And I only got 334 words down.

It was a week of being sad about my submission to Samhain being rejected, trying to figure out "now what do I do with it?" (it's a sequel to one of my Samhain books), editing it to make it a stand alone (which thankfully wasn't that difficult. It only meant tweaking a few scenes) and hoping that whoever I send it to next will like it better than Samhain.

So, while my new writing was pretty pathetic, at least I got a weency bit of editing down while I wallowed in self pity.

No, kidding, I only allow myself a few hours of wallowing. Then I get back to work.

Anyway, I was digging a garden yesterday and this morning my arms won't move so I'm typing with my nose. Today more of the same. Depending on how I feel when we're done digging I may just have my mom bury me in the newly dug dirt. Sounds pleasant and soft.

If not, I'll be back in action tomorrow. Or tonight. But for now I have to get my manuscript off to someone else. Could be the start of a beautiful new relationship.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Block on My Head...

This past week, I think I may have written thirteen words.

I despise the term "writer's block". I am stubborn and will usually push my way through. I have tricks I use (prompts, challenges, writing scenes out of order) that usually work.

Not this week. I've tried working on "Drive Me Crazy" (the sequel to Kitchen Matches), "A Jewel for Geoff" and "Queen and Assassin". No matter how much love I have for them (and I have MUCH), I just can't seem to write.

I am beyond frustrated.

Still, I'm going to keep beating my head against it and eventually I will break through.


Check in time!

Consider yourself nagged.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can you hear my feet dragging?

Oh, I hate to have to write this post. My check-in for this week is so much less than I'd planned on.

Ugh. Just ugh.

I wrote 3,400 words, which is fine but not nearly enough to pull me closer to the month's total. I am beginning to fear I won't make my goal, and that bugs the heck out of me.

There aren't enough hours in the day. That ever happen to you? I rise before the sun, and fall face-first into bed well after dark, and am busy every minute in between. Still, the hours are flying and the days are passing and my word count is stalled and I'm...frustrated. Yes, I'll admit it. I'm frustrated by the reality of not writing as much as I'd like.

Maybe when the gardens are tilled, the flower beds raked out and the trees planted I'll be able to put my hands on the keyboard. Until then, I'm tied to a rake and a shovel. But on this front, I've got a confession as well. I'm jazzed about being outside--without the snow blower! I love feeling the sun on my head, listening to the birds and plowing my fingers into the dark, rich soil.

This is one of those time/season points in life. I'm focusing on one joy but another is being sacrificed...for now. When it rains, I'll catch up on the word count. I'm pretty sure I won't make my goal, but that's all right. It's got to be, doesn't it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A big fat 0

Another week with no progress. Well, I did do a little, but never got the hand written words typed that I scribbled on Wednesday typed in so I didn't count them. Not good since the proposal is due in two weeks. I must plant my butt in the chair and write. And write and write.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

checking in

Last week had its challenges. All of my produced words weren't gold--by any means--but I kept my butt in the chair, didn't get sidetracked by new work-writing possibilities, or that next new, bright and shiny (or old, dim and dull) novel idea, and kept writing. End result? About 8000 words--I say 'about' because some of this draft was handwritten and I haven't typed everything up yet. I didn't make my 1500 words every single day, but I did make it more than half the time. So, I'm ready to plow into the new week.

Checking in... finally

I'm in the same category as many - not enough produced, and spring break STARTS for me this week. It's not going to be much of a distraction, though, as we're not going anywhere and I'm just still helping my mom, etc.

The good news is that I got *some* writing in - about 400 words. It's a start. It's 400 more than I did past the first week of March.

Secondly, I "de-chaosed" today and my work area is, well, workable again, so that will also help.

I just need to get through Easter dinner today and then I think I'm good to start producing again.

Dashing in...

to let you know I'm finally on my way! It took a bit of time this month for me to settle into working on just one project but I'm on the right track now. As of yesterday I have nearly 9,000 words on a romance set in Rome. The characters are amuse me, and they're so hot for each other it's not always easy to concentrate (*G*), but I'm zipping right along. I guess I just needed to figure out where I wanted to spend this month. Apparently, I'm in the mood for love, Italian-style!

Also working on a rough (very rough!) chapter outline for a Regency mystery. I don't want to dither around in May, do I? If I've got an idea of where I'm supposed to be going, I'll be able to get right down to business. That's the hope, anyhow!

I hope everyone is enjoying a good writing month.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Really... I'm Writing

So, here I am checking in a day late. Except, I realized I never checked in last week. WHOOPS!

It kind of feels like a case of "If It's Not One Thing It's Another" lately. Some days are better than others, but this last week has sucked monkey butt. Health wise, it's just been same old same old, but stress wise... My stress has been through the roof this last week. The reason? Spring Break!

Some of y'all know, but for those who don't know: I have FOUR boys under the age of 10. They're my miracles and I love them to pieces, but they have a never-ending well of energy that I wish I could tap into. How come the youngsters get all the energy when it's the old fogies who need it? How fair is that? LOL

So, chaos was the word of the day in my house... every day. It's hard to even think, much less find time to sit and write. Add to that a cranky hubby who has started up a new class in his Masters program and writing wasn't the first priority. Yup, my muse is pouting, she swears I'm ignoring her... and well, I am. My word count for right now is a big fat ZERO. Okay, maybe not a complete wash, I did get a bit of editing done last night and the night before, but then I got sidetracked by my sticky laptop keys. I'm a bit anal about that, drives me nuts if I can't type fast and have to keep going back and fixing stuff when the keys stick.

Okay, okay.. I'll admit it, it was a bit of procrastination. And, you should have seen the look of horror on my hubby's face when he came into the kitchen to find all the keys of my laptop on the table. *snicker* I was sitting there with a can of compressed air and electronic wipes surrounded by little black keys as he stood there blinking at me. And not just a couple... every... single... key.... hee hee. But, hey, it works so much better now. So now that I've rambled on about my nonexistent word count I'm off to finish posting today's hottie. Yup, I'm behind on everything. Maybe I'll get caught up within the next year. Maybe not. But, hey, there's lots of joy even when it's insane. I'll just have to keep on writing! :-D

Sluggish week

I think I'm getting bored with my current wip. I'm getting preoccupied with other writing projects, especially doing prompts over at another blog. Today I spent hours looking over my files and I think I'm going to go back to another wip I was working on in January.

I also have been contemplating a finished manuscript that needs TLC.

But I shouldn't complain. My weekly word count is 5575 words. Probably more if I take into consideration all the prompts I did. But I won't count those.

Oh, and I found out that the editor I sent a partial to over at Kensington back in January jumped ship in February!! I emailed them asking if maybe my submission was handed off to someone else, but from what I've heard, this editor may have tossed everything. Waah! I'll probably have to resubmit it and wait ANOTHER THREE MONTHS!

Oh, the life of a writer.

Walloped by Spring Break

For the first three days of April, I met my goals. I think. Then the weekend came... then spring break. And all this time that I foolishly envisioned I could structure for my writing goals was eaten up by mostly fun and exciting things (shopping for/trying to sell a horse) that meant we spent a lot of time in the car/truck/barn. And lots of state highways.

I fell off all wagons. Writing wagon. Exercise wagon. Eating right wagon. Even the laundry wagon.

But this wasn't a failure unless I stop here. A detour, possibly. Maybe even a trip into the ditch on the side of the road. But not a failure.

Come Monday, spring break is over. Then you'll find my behind in the chair. (Or my feet on the treadmill, working at my desk there.) And I'm going to keep showing up every day until I actually have changed my habits. Which means I'll keep showing up every day from then on.

Hallelujah amen.

Time To Check In

Consider yourself nagged.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Uh Oh

Nothing much to report here. Really.

I'm really going to have to stop procrastinating and put my tush in the chair. Otherwise April's going to be a very short month.

I hope everyone else is just buzzing along!

Monday, April 6, 2009

April's Auspicious Beginning

It wasn't a very productive writing week for me. Only 867 words, a far cry from my goal of 5000 words. But it was our spring break and we spent four days skiing and the other days having a lot of fun. Two of my writing sessions were spent reworking a troubled scene. I love the way it came out even if it took forever to whip those four pages into shape!

The good news is my revised synopsis was accepted, and I'm waiting to hear when my proposal will be due. It'll be sometime this month so I need to get back on track this week.

Hope everyone's writing is flowing!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New month, new gameplan

It's a new month! Hurray for April and spring and newness and all that wonderful Easter candy that has made me leave behind all my weightloss intentions until after the holiday! Hurray!

With the new month comes a new gameplan, especially since all of my family stresses seem to be finally resolving themselves. Life is good and a high word count is excellent!

So, to report my progress. Didn't get to write much on the 1st (had to still take care of one of those last family things), but I did get more than 500 good words written despite the day's running. And made my goal for the 2nd and 4th, with the 3rd coming in at more than double. So, for the first week of April...drumroll, please... a tiny bit more than 6700 words!

Still working on today's, but that, of course, goes into next week's word count total hopper.

Good luck to all!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Participants so far - updated

Here's who I've heard from about doing JaNo in April:

... and, yes, Jen... ME.


I may have forgotten someone... I'm dopey from my cold... but feel free to leave a comment here or email me if you want to participate. I'm updating the goals on the sidebar this weekend.

Week Word Count

It's still early and I have plans on writing more today, but I wanted to get my word count in. We're off to do some work at my mother's so I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to post again.

Another fairly good week. My total is 6668 words this week. I had a lightbulb moment yesterday afternoon with a manuscript that I adore but is too bland. I've put it aside until I can figure out how to make it exciting. Ideas come to me slowly but surely and I had one yesterday. It won't be the story's saving grace, but it'll help it out immensely, I think, even though it (along with another idea I had) means doing a complete re-write to implement the changes. I'm not ready to go there yet, not until I know exactly what the real saving grace will be.

But the story got a real good prologue this morning and I'm happy with that.

Hope everyone had an awesome week. Enjoy your weekend and happy writing to all!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The In Between Stage

Happy April, Everyone!! Yay, Spring!! 

I'm off for a weekend filled with softball, a final proof, and a Sweet 16 party. Lately, I'm hesitate to dive into something new, since I should hear from my editor at some point this month to confirm my next SCREWBALL project. But, like Marianne would say, that's just a good excuse, so here are my April goals.. (Love ya, Marianne!) 

1. Finish brainstorming my new upper YA novel.  
2. Write 10,000 words of my new upper YA novel. 
3. Write 20,000 words of my next SCREWBALL novel. I should find out next week if the editor accepted the first three chapters of the prequel or if she wants the first three chapters of SCREWBALL 3. :) 

What's on tap for everyone this weekend? 

Have a fabulous weekend! 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hope everyone has a great start to April!

So, my self-imposed exile is over. It's been a MONTH. It's good to be back.

I'm really, really looking forward to writing again.

I won't get caught up, but I will start commenting.

I hope everyone had a productive March!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bring it on!

Bye, bye March!

Now that I've been to the post office and back, I'm ready to tackle April.
I'm thinking that I'd like to up the month's ante to 50,000 words. I've got a project underway, and I think that if I work my keister off I should be able to make another postal run come May 1st. Yeah, I'm optimistic but why not reach for the moon? Even if I don't get a chance to swing on it this month, I'll have a blast reaching so I'm going for it.
What about you? You in?

Heading into April

Okay folks... at least a few of us want to keep on going. If you'll send me your goals, I'll make sure the right ones are listed on the sidebar. If I don't hear from you by the end of the week, I'll assume you DON'T want to keep on keeping on, and will take you off the list of participating bloggers.

And, I'll continue nagging... at least now and then so you don't feel lonely and unloved.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The End Of March

Another month has gone by. Are they going faster and faster? Seems to me they are. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not.

Anyway, it was an okay month. I definitely went past my goal, finished a short story and put a good dent in my 2007 NaNo leftovers, plus got lots of editing done on my 2008 NaNo story. No complaints from me. Still no word from the publishers who have two of my manuscripts (Kensington and Samhain), but I'll still be patient and put my mind elsewhere.

Anyhue, my final word count for March is 25076. I'm very tempted to up my daily writing goal by a few hundred words. I'm not sure I feel very challenged with only 500 words per day.

Okay, off to watch American Idol.

See ya'll next month~

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Morning Word Count

This was a good writing week for me. Between revising my synopsis (it's been resubmitted, too), rewriting chapter one after getting some great feedback from my critique partner on Saturday and adding new stuff, I had a grand total of 6449 words for the week. I surpassed my weekly goal of 5000 words. Finally!

Now to keep it up!!!!!

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Checking in a day late

Although... I don't think I checked in last week, but that was when I was in excruciating pain. So, didn't do much writing this week except for in my head and if I remember to write it down it was long hand as I couldn't sit at the computer for any length of time without causing further pain. I did some more editing on my short Cowboy story, including some major rewrites because my heroine was not very likable. I'm about 5000 words into the edits, not sure how many more words as I'm rewriting the ending... isn't it fun when our muse pitches a hissy fit and demands changes?

My other short story that I did as a challenge from Mysti is sitting in an inbox waiting for a second set of edits so I can do those and move on to the painful process of editing and submitting. That one ended on a whopping 12,723 words. I know that some of it will be rewritten, add some here, subtract some there, but I'm really proud of this one, even if it is a first draft.

My Alpha story that started this whole enterprise didn't get as much work done, but I did get quite a bit ironed out in my head and really feel that I know these characters so well. Hopefully, that will translate into easier writing once I'm able to finally sit and focus more intently on it. Right now it's sitting at 4,490 words, and two of my characters are stuck in a compromising position... but they're not complaining so I guess they can wait.

That brings my March grand total word count to: 22,109 words. That's not including the first attempt at a synopsis and query. Not bad, even if it didn't meet my 1000 word a day goal. I only missed it by about 9,000 words. Hey, I still technically have two days, but not sure I'll be able to sit long enough to write that much. Still, a word count that I can be proud of.

It's been fun, and I hope we keep it up, but if not I greatly enjoyed getting to know everyone here. I even have another story idea that I'll be entering into a contest brought to my attention by a friend. Yes, I can do more than one story at a time, sometimes I have to or I get stuck. All in all, a pretty darned good month!

Changing Things Up :)

Last Monday, this was waiting patiently for me in my inbox. :) 
The cover of my new sporty YA novel, CHANGE UP: AN ASHLEY CLARKE NOVEL (SCREWBALL series, Book 2) has arrived! 

After I wrote a fictional series based on a freshman fastpitch softball fanatic for FASTPITCH FOREVER magazine, two years ago, the publisher asked me to turn the magazine series into books. Hence, the SCREWBALL series was born. As a teen and tween, I loved to read and searched bookstores for girls' sports books and found absolutely nothing. Sports were a huge part of my life and I had a hard time relating to tween and teen main characters who didn't play sports. I was forced to either read boys' sports books or book adaptations of sporty movies. 

I'm so proud every time I see another girls' sporty novel in print, whether it's mine or another author's, and the SCREWBALL series is super special to me.  :) 

After I received the fabulous new, summery cover, I was in celebration mode and spent the first half of the week promoting CHANGE UP and wrote zero words. However, I was able to squeeze out 2000 words yesterday.

Have an amazing week, everyone! :) 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Last Nag of the Month

Hey all... March is nearly over. Check in is today. Truthfully, I'm beginning to think that JaNoWriMo may have run its course. Only a handful of the group check in -- despite my nagging, lol, and truthfully I'm kinda tired of riding herd. Despite what my DH says, nagging is no fun.

Still, I'm up for more if you are. But, let me get an honest count of who wants to keep on keeping on, okay? You can leave a comment or email me offline.

Great month, folks. Some of you really astounded me.

FYI... I'm at about 10,000 new words. Didn't meet my goal, but I'm quite pleased with the result.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wonder of Wonders

I really didn't think I'd make my goal this week. I took two days off and I had one really lousy day. But I rallied and had a few days that made up for it.

My total this week is 3698 words, between two different wips. Now, in November I could do that in a day, but I'm not going to complain. My arm was killing me all week. Lots of data entry projects at work (where I sit at a totally ergonomically incorrect desk).

More importantly, I'm liking the story I've been working on, even though I'm looking for an editing project. I do have one, but it's going to be pretty heavy duty since it was written a long time ago and there are things I want to change.

Still, I'm up for a challenge. Just not today.

Hope everyone had a stupendous week!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Checking In

The end of the book. Yes, I'm done.

Word count for March? 42,848.

Added to the part of the book-that-would-not-be-ignored that I already had, it brings me right up to the page that says The End.

Me? I'm eating chocolate cake for breakfast!

Then, sometime after lunch, I'll sit down and decide what I'm going to work on next, what will keep my fingers flying through the next few weeks. Because we are all going to meet back here again in April, aren't we?

Hope all is going well in your writing world. And, hey, if you don't have any other plans, you're welcome to join me for breakfast. There's plenty of cake to go around! :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hand writing

I couldn't sit at my computer due to my foot injury so I have 10 hand written pages to show for last week as well as a bunch of revising I did on a hard copy of my first chapter. No idea what the word count will be since a lot of it is dialogue, but I'm not complaining! It's words. That's all that matters.

I'm so far behind right now I'll take whatever I can get. I really need a proposal on this story ASAP to go with the synopsis revisions they asked for last week. I usually write the synopsis after the proposal, but since this is a continuity, they wanted those firsts. And I can't remember the last time (if ever) I've been asked for synopsis revisions so I want to go back to my normal process and just send everything in at once. I'm a horrible synopsis writer!

I'm counting the hours until I can sit down at my computer tonight and write! My head is bursting with ideas and I just want to let it pour all out!

Happy writing everyone!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Checking In

Busy week. Good week. Happy week. I finished revising my new sporty novel, VARSITY PREP, and sent it to my agent. Then, I finished the first three chapters for another sporty series and sent them to the brand. :)

Now, I'm going to start brainstorming either my upper YA/adult book or the third book in the SCREWBALL series. At first, I wasn't sure which one to tackle first until I received some valuable advice. Begin the one that calls to you... Problem solved. :) 

What do you do when you can't decide which book to write? 

Have a fabulous week, everyone! ;) 

My Check-In

My check-in is easy:

0 words


I did much editing of "Queen and Assassin" based on suggestions from a friend (who grumbled because it's not done, and I left her hanging). But no new words.


There's a new week starting tomorrow!

Woo Hoo... Look: Updates!

Didn't even have to put on the nag hat.

But, where is everyone else?

C'mon show us what you have.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Checking in, but not checking out

Right up front I'm going to confess that just hours ago I was going to throw in the towel and say "see ya" to all of you. My total output this week was just about what my daily goal was, all due to family and personal issues beyond my control. I hate when things are beyond my control. And next week my dear sister in law is scheduled for a major surgery to correct another major surgery she underwent a year and a half ago. So, yeah, things aren't grand right now in my little world.

But just within the past hour I've decided not to give up. Today is only the 21st of March. That means I have 10 full days before the first of next month. I'm not sure how close I can still come to my goal--and I realize Monday may be a wash since everyone around me is going to be stressed even if I get a writing brainstorm--but progress will be progress. Just 1575 words this week is 1575 words closer to my goal.

It's a question of "how badly do I want it." Right?

Another Week Has Passed

Hard to believe that not only spring is here but March is almost over. Not that I'm complaining. Every day we get further away from winter is a good thing. Especially this winter. The Ice Storm Of 2008 will forever be etched in my memory.

Not that it's a good thing, but ironically I have a story ready for editing (or Part 1 of a story) that happens to open during an ice storm. I wrote it years ago. Now I have first hand knowledge of just how awful the storm can be. Having that experience (and that of my mom and others who were more stuck than I was) is going to help a great deal. I've thought about putting aside my current wips in order to work on this one. But we'll see. I've come to a good scene in my current and I don't want to put it aside just yet.

So, it was a more productive week than last. I met my goal daily and my weekly word count is 5591. Nothing majorly exciting (I'd love to double that every week) but nothing to sneeze at either (what a strange saying). Especially since I spent lots of time this week at dentist appointments, cheerleader banquets and making unnecessary long trips to the wrong hospital for cardiologist appointments (ugh).

So, lets see if I can have an uneventful week starting tomorrow.

That's all I ask.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Foot Dragging

I've got exactly 23,000 words for this month's total so far. Yes, right on the dot. That took a bit of wrangling, let me tell you! I added a few words, ommitted a couple, tweaked a bit, then had the number right on the head.

Yeah, I know. It's the small stuff in life that amuses me.

The point is, I haven't written a whole lot of new words this week. Instead, I printed out the book that is now 2/3 done. I spent hours with the pages and a red pencil...need I say more? Then I corrected the file, one tedious adjustment at a time.

After that, I walked away. That's right. I just walked away. Taking a day off today, too. I just don't want to see that dratted book again. Not until tomorrow, that is.

Tomorrow I plan to sit down and make the mad dash for the page that says The End. I think I'll be able to do it this coming week. I really do. I'll make the month's word count, finish the book and experience that wonderful, frightening, weird feeling that comes with those two precious words. You know what I'm talking about. I know you do.

So, I've been dragging my feet wordcount-wise. But the accompanying annoying bits? I'm all over them.

What about you? How're things going in your writing world? I'm sending good thoughts your way, and hoping you're riding the wave. And if you're you think you might need a day off? Come on, it's Friday, the first day of spring. Let's celebrate!

I know. I'm sorry. I'm a baaaad influence!

Happy first day of spring! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A day late!

I wrote last week (not enough though that's another story!) but ended up hurting myself and should not at my computer. I have no idea of my current word count, and it hurts too much to go figure it out. Due to hand issues, I can no longer just carry my iBook around and just type anywhere like I used to so I'll be back next Monday to report!

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Woo Hoo!

I've spent the last few minutes catching up on posts. I love the way everyone is making progress! So many wonderful word counts and inspirational views on this world of writing we share. I feel energized, and am looking forward to opening up my wip and getting down to business.

So far I'm working steadily toward this month's word count. The book has gained just over 21,000 words, and has gotten a good amount of tweaking so all is good here.

Hope you have a wonderful writing week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is a new week starting already???

Okay, here I am checking in from last week, and preparing myself for the upcoming week. Only made 4700 words last week--far short of my goal--but am pleased since I decided last weekend to change projects and had to do a bunch of pre-writing stuff (like a rough outline) to get started, so only started the first chapter late Monday evening while I was sitting in my car in a downtown parking place. Don't ask. The rest of the week has been harried, but I've pushed on with each little snippet of time I had to keep working. I've had a few detours that came after I started (made the brother of the MC much too negative in the first pass, but feel I've found my stride with him and his history now), but that's all to be expected when starting fresh.

Have about 300 words today, need 1200 more, but I'm cutting out to make road trip to hear author Suzanne Arruda speak and sign at my closest B&N (75 miles round trip). Think I'll make hubby take me to dinner while we're in town, too. One of these days I'm going to have a book signing event of my own!

Good luck all, and I promise to work again when I get home tonight!

Okay... The Nag checks in

I wrote 8000 words this week.

Cool, huh?

Too bad it wasn't on a WIP.

For those of you who are on Facebook, you already know why I did it. I found myself losing the joy in writing. Writing had become a chore, something I did because I felt I had to. And, unfortunately, that lack of passion was showing up in what I created.

So, I went to find the joy. I wrote something just for the heck of it. I didn't care if it was something I could sell or whether anyone but me would see the thing. I just wrote.

It was wonderful.

Hopefully I can transfer that newly rediscovered joy into my WIPs this coming week.

:::fingers crossed:::

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Not so hot week

Well, I still met my daily goal, but I only wrote 3789 words this week. I spent a lot of time on editing, so it wasn't a complete waste of a week. I just got stuck on my wip and the new words weren't flowing so freely.

Next week won't be as bad... I hope, though I do have two days that will probably be lost causes.

It's okay. I'll make up for it at some point.

Back to Work

After a particularly grueling couple of weeks personally, I couldn't write until I cleared my head. But, now I'm back to my list, more focused, more thankful for my writing life, more determined, and ready to push myself as hard as I can to continue achieving my goals and dreams. 

Besides my regular To Do list, I added another list this week. 

1. Join a NJRWA committee. Did anyone ever run a conference book fair? :) 
2. Attend my first critique group meeting. Thanks for the invite, Katia!  Two years ago, I belonged to one, then I moved. Meeting new writing buds tomorrow. :) 

This week, I finished polishing the first three chapters of a sporty tween assignment. I'm super psyched and passionate about this particular idea.  When I'm excited, the words flow so much easier. 

Fellow JaNoWriMoers: Do the words flow faster when you're excited and passionate about your subject or character? And when you suffer a loss or something tragic happens, do you feel more focused and determined when you return to writing? Or is it difficult to write? 

Have a fabulous weekend! :) 

Time to Check in!!!!

Ms. Nag here... sending out the call (except for Melissa who goes on Monday)!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Holy... Cannoli!

I'm being PG here. Maybe... I don't know if it's possible for me to be completely PG.

I'm checking in early because I'm riding a bit of a high tonight. LOL. I just wrote 12,000+ words in two days. Nope, you didn't read that wrong... TWELVE THOUSAND PLUS words. I don't think I've ever done that before! :::doing a little happy dance:::


So, I let Mysti egg me on and I wrote... and wrote... and wrote... and made my hubby feed the kids (which he didn't complain about) and the short story she challenged me to write is in her inbox as of an hour and a half ago. I'm gonna ride this high for a bit... until she sends me her edits. *groan* I hate edits.

Ayway... my word count widget for the story is as follows:

Kealie's "Appearances"

That means I met my goals, at least for this week. YAY! I guess I work much better when I'm dared to do it... and when someone pokes me... anyone else want to email me and poke at me? LOL

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Checking In

I know, it's the middle of the week, but I AM here checking in. My first WIP which I only call Alpha right now didn't get as much work this week. I DID edit about four pages of Cowboy and am reworking the plot a bit.... so that's hopefully almost completely done soon.

My friend and blog/website partner Mysti Holiday challenged me to write another short story that is at least 7500 words and I only have two days to get it to her... but she's doing it too so she has to get her's to me at the same time. *sigh* I work quite a bit better under pressure. SO, my WIPs are as follows (the titles will be changed eventually):

Kealie's 'JaNoWriMo' Alpha

Kealie's Cowboy (2nd round editing)

Kealie's "Appearances"

So, all in all, the grand total is (drumroll please): 6,600 words! I think I have so far met my goal of writing at least 1000 words a day... and I'm a bit stunned by that. LOL I didn't think I'd been doing it that well since it's writing spread across three WIPs now. But I, AM getting it done. YAY....

~Kealie Shay

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whew! Forgot E-Mail and Password

I'm back! I couldn't get in to JaNo because I couldn't remember how. I have left bread crumbs this time to find my way back in and out.

I've been snowed under with a writing project that has had a few unexpected twists and turns, including writer's block, and as soon as I get that finished (which really HAS to be today) I am back to my real work, which is writing novels.

Notice the use of plural. Novels. Not novel. Because I am going to write more than one. Right after I finish this one.

I'm disappointed with my "progress" this year so far. I've got lots of excuses but not enough gold stars on any calendar. Though I can't recapture that time, I can learn from this experience (can't I?) and accept no excuses. Write first. Make excuses for why I don't get the OTHER stuff done, not for my writing.

Looking for that white hot streak myself. Actually, any kind of streak will do provided it is not a losing streak.

Will try to post and comment more often. We are all moving forward, even if at different speeds.

Good luck! Write much. The more there is, the better it will be even if you throw a third out.

The month is not half over. In fact, it's more than half full.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Finding The White Heat

I've been in something of an energy vortex for the last several months, so one of my writing buddies challenged me to find The White Heat. Totally on board with the idea, I struggled to find time to look for it.

But, today, I found it.

2266 words. 11 pages.

And I have tomorrow's work all lined up.

Can I get an, "Amen?"


What do you do when you get stuck on a scene? I've been stuck for two days now. I try to write and it just comes out worthless and boring and I hate it. I need to get through this scene, and I know I can go back and fix it later, but does anyone else have this problem?

I'm sure the answer is yes.

So, what to do? Push through it? Skip it and come back to it at a more inspired time? Work on something completely new?

And another question... What's more important to you: Editing a finished manuscript (well, first draft) or working on something new?

Now I have to go to work. Why can't I be independently wealthy and be able to stay home... the one with my own office and the maid service to do the dishes, that is.

Everyone have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm late, I'm late

I'm here! I'm writing! Not as much as I planned, and not on the project I'd planned--but I'm writing! Gave up on SW--well, not completely, but decided I need to write something lighter for a while. So, after dedicating half of last week to SW, I switched and started working up the outline/background/synopsis/character-sketches/and-all-that-stuff for a romance that's been rolling around in my brain since December. Hope to accomplish my 1500 a day on it starting today. So far, so good. With my nose to the grindstone, I should have a first draft completed by month's end--even starting it late. I love months with 31 days!

Happy creating, all!

Checking In

Well after making the big announcement that I am back, I seem to have slowly limped through the week. My creative spirit seemed to be still on vacation. I did get a bit of writing done, and a bit of re-writing done - but I can't say I managed to stay with my goal.

Ah, but another week is here. And, I am not giving up.

Monday Check-in

I started the week with 2706 words from my synopsis. I pasted the appropriate parts in Chapters 1, 2 and 3 since I have to turn in a proposal for this project. I was so excited to start the actual book so I thought I'd have no problem reaching my goal of 5000 words this week. I was wrong!

It was one of those crazy busy weeks and weekend. I managed to write but it was a few minutes here, a few there. Only one day did I have a significant chunk of time to work.

When I sat at my computer last night to see what I'd accomplished over the week, I was totally bummed. I didn't like it. Not one bit. I knew the main reason my writing had gotten off track as the weekend came around was I'd taken a wrong turn at the end of the scene which was keeping me from going forward. So I did the only thing I could in this situation. I started over last night. An easy decision since I was still in chapter one, but I've had the same problem later in books. Then I try to see if I can fix the problem without losing too much.

At the end of my Sunday writing session, I had 1624 words. Much less than my goal of 5000 words, but I surpassed my daily goal of 1000 words. And I'm much happier with the story! Yay!

Today starts a new weekly count for me. My goal is 1000 words M-F and use the weekend for catch up. I have a proposal due and those always take me forever to write. I really want to reach my 5000 word goal. Fingers crossed I make it!